5 New Ways To Dress Up Your Denim For Work

C'mon people, it's 2017; when are we finally going to agree that jeans should be acceptable office wear? Unless your 9-to-5 is at a laid-back startup, chances are your work uniform only takes a turn towards denim on casual Fridays. But we're of the belief that your worn-in baby blues could take the place of pinstriped trousers any day, without infringing upon your boss-lady M.O. Even still, jeans have a pretty casual reputation that could benefit from a fresh interpretation. That's why we mapped out five styling moves that will turn your weekend heroes into bona-fide work threads.
We used AG's fall collection as the base for each polished, trend-forward ensemble and, from there, got creative with the goes-with-everything pieces — mixing in silk trenches, pleated neck scarves, and embellished button-ups — to craft HR-approved looks that are anything but sloppy. Ready to convince the naysayers of denim's worth in the workplace? See our tips that make dressing for work fun again, ahead.
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Dress it up. Literally.

Bold-hued bottoms that could easily fly as traditional trousers — like this oxblood pair — are a great place to start when easing into denim for your 9-to-5. Make them a bit more elevated with a slip dress and silky wrap trench over top and slip-on neutral flats. Add subtle jewelry to keep it interesting without over-accessorizing.

Le Fou Wilfred trench, Local Eclectic ring, Whistles slides.
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Wear your jeans like a suit.

Break out your denim jacket to accompany your favorite black bottoms for a pair that rivals the pinstripe two-piece. Since the look could err a little monochrome, give it a playful edge with a fiery red blouse, funky earrings, and comfy checkered block heels.

Huma Blanco sandals, Diana Broussard earrings, H&M blouse.
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Trade your traditional pencil skirt for a denim one.

Next casual Friday, forgo the wool or silk pencil skirt for a not-so-typical dark denim number. It'll pair perfectly with fun pieces like pointed-toe leopard pumps, emerald jewelry, and a tie-front blouse. Pro tip: For some cool texture play, swap your over-used tote bag for a sleeker wooden shoulder bag.

Mango top, Jennie Kwon ring, Sole Society shoes, Inge Christopher bag.
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When in doubt, go back to the basics.

If there's one outfit formula that you can always rely on, it's the classic jeans, button-up, and loafers combo. This time around, however, go for trendy upgrades of your oldies-but-goodies, e.g. the backless shoe and a voluminous, ruched shirt. Finish with metal-rimmed frames and fishnet socks for an edgy twist.

Stelen top, Senso loafers, Urban Outfitters glasses, Gipsy socks.
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Get creative with a neck scarf.

A jeans-and-tee combo feels inherently lazy and almost too simple. But when you tie a cute printed scarf around your neck — or, get this, through your belt loops — it's all of a sudden interesting. Add a plaid overcoat and minty sandals to dress it up even more.

Topshop coat, & Other Stories scarf, Madewell tank, LOQ shoes.